Israel News for March 29, 2017

Soldier Attacked
On Monday an IDF soldier driving a water truck made a wrong turn while driving in the Gush Etzion area and ended up in the Arab village of Sa’ir, the home of many terrorists in the last two years. Palestinians began throwing stones at him. He was wounded. Local residents came to his aid and brought him into a nearby structure. Palestinian police were called to the scene and extracted the soldier from the village. He was then picked up by IDF forces and taken to Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem.

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Arab League
The annual Arab League Summit kicked off at a location near the Dead Sea in Jordan with an address by Jordan’s King Hussein. The king said, “Israel is continuing to expand settlements and wreck chances of peace … There is no peace or stability in the region without a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian cause through a two-state solution.”

This should be fun.

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Haredi Protests
Around 10,000 Haredi (ultra-orthodox) protesters demonstrated in Jerusalem against the IDF drafting of yeshiva students. There have been numerous smaller demonstrations throughout Israel, organized by an organization called the Peleg Yerushalmi (Jerusalem Faction), headed by Rabbi Shmuel Auerbach.

The rabbi addressed the demonstration saying, “This is the uprooting of all that is sacred and holy. Our job is to stand guard and not be swayed by any compromises or offers of facilitation.” He added, “We cannot make peace with this reality.”

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Minister’s Limitations
Following recent remarks by IDF Chief Rabbi Yigal Levinstein which were seen as disparaging of women serving in the IDF, Defense Minister Lieberman summoned him for a hearing and threatened to impose sanctions against the pre-army preparatory yeshiva that he heads. Not so fast.

The Attorney General has determined that the Defense Minister does not have the authority to cut funding or revoke official recognition of the yeshiva because that would fall under the authority of the Mistry of Education. He also can’t remove Rabbi Levinstein from his position as head of the yeshiva.

However, Lieberman can still use other means to make life tough for Levinstein and the yeshiva if he so decides.

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Greece Exercise
Israeli air force pilots will be participating in a two week long joint military exercise along with pilots from Greece, the US and the United Arab Emirates. The UAE has no diplomatic relations with Israel.

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Diplomatic Relations
Speaking at a memorial ceremony for former heads of state, PM Netanyahu said, “Today, we are blessed with excellent relations with more than 160 countries. That number is growing. Next week, another country will announce the establishment of relations with the State of Israel.” Sources predict that the country the PM was referring to is Nicaragua, which severed relations with Israel in 2010.

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Court Strike
You’ve heard of teachers, bus drivers, pilots, garbage men and every other category of worker going on strike in Israel. Well, believe it or not, now Israel’s judges are threatening to go on strike and shut down the court system over demands for better retirement benefits. Will they be wearing their robes in the picket line?

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Rabbinic Ruling
The rabbinical court of the Be’er Sheva region issued a monumental ruling. The case involved a woman who got married in Georgia (USSR) 60 year ago. Then, without divorcing her husband, she moved to Israel and registered as a widow. She then proceeded to have a daughter with another man. That gave the daughter the Jewish legal status of “mamzer”, which would prohibit her or any of her offspring from ever marrying another Jew. Since she did in fact marry and have children (before the mother’s marriage was revealed), they all would be prohibited from marrying.

After a thorough investigation including testifies from people who witnessed the wedding 60 years ago, the rabbinical court ruled that the original marriage was invalid because the witnesses were not kosher, there was no rabbi officiating and the ring might not even have belonged to the husband.

The court’s ruling, made by three respected senior rabbinical judges, retroactively removes the status of mamzer from all of the offspring and permits them to marry.

Mazal Tov!!

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